Sir Robert Rannaldini, the most successful but detested conductor in the world, had two ambitions: to seduce his ravishing nineteen-year-old stepdaughter Tabitha Campbell-Black, and to put his mark on musical history by making the definitive film of Verdi's darkest opera, Don Carlos. As Rannaldini, Tristan, his charismatic French director, a volatile cast and bolshy French crew gather at Rannaldini's haunted abbey for filming, it is inevitable that violent feuds, abandoned bonking, temperamental screaming, and devious plotting will ensue. But although everyone wished Rannaldini dead, no one actually thought the Maestro would be murdered. Or that after the dreadful deed some very bizarre things would continue to occur. SCORE! is Jilly Cooper's most thrilling novel to date.
Abigail Rosen, nicknamed Appassionata, was the sexiest, most flamboyant violinist in classical music, but she was also the loneliest and the most exploited girl in the world. When a dramatic suicide attempt destroyed her violin career, she set her sights on the male-dominated heights of the conductor's rostrum. Given the chance to take over the Rutminster Symphony Orchestra, Abby is ecstatic, not realising the RSO is in hock up to its neck and is composed of the wildest bunch of musicians ever to blow a horn or caress a fiddle. Abby finds it increasingly difficult to control her undisciplined rabble and pretend she is not madly attracted to the fatally glamorous horn player, Viking O'Neill, who claims droit de seigneur over every pretty woman joining the orchestra. And then Rannaldini, arch-fiend and international maestro, rolls up with Machiavellian plans of his own to sabotage the RSO. Effervescent as champagne, Jilly Cooper's novel brings back old favourites like Rupert and Taggie Campbell-Black, but also ends triumphantly with a rampageous orchestral tour of Spain and the high drama of an international piano competition.
From the Inside Flap
A novel about love, high living, intrigue and a missing painting.
Raymond Kelvedon had been a dashing subaltern in 1944 when he had come across the glorious painting by Raphael depicting Pandora releasing the seven deadly sins into the world. The painting ended up on the bedroom wall of his beautiful home, Foxes Court, in the peaceful county of Larkshire. His tempestuous wife, Galina, entertained her lovers there as well as giving birth to her four children beneath its watchful gaze, but after her tragic and mysterious death, Raymond kept the painting hidden away in a tower room, its existence forgotten by most of those who ever knew about it.
Now, Raymond has a gallery, a new wife and adorable young twins, as well as his four grown children. Then into all their lives erupts Emerald ? lovely, talented and desperately searching for her real parents. Zach Ansteig, an attractive and mysterious American encourages her to go to Foxes Court where, he persuades her, her birth mother will be found. The Kelvedon family is outraged. But Zach is also searching for something ? the Raphael Pandora, which he believes should belong to him.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Jilly Cooper is a well-known journalist and author of many bestselling books including Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous.
Into the cut-throat world of Corinium television comes Declan O'Hara, a mega-star of great glamour and integrity with a radiant feckless wife, a handsome son and two ravishing teenage daughters. Living rather too closely across the valley is Rupert Campbell-Black, divorced and as dissolute as ever, and now the Tory Minister for Sport. Declan needs only a few days at Corinium to realise that the Managing Director, Lord Baddingham, is a crook who has recruited him merely to help retain the franchise for Corinium. Baddingham has also enticed Cameron Cook, a gorgeous but domineering woman executive, to produce Declan's programme. Declan and Cameron detest each other, provoking a storm of controversy into which Rupert plunges with his usual abandon. As a rival group emerges to pitch for the franchise, reputations ripen and decline, true love blossoms and burns, marriages are made and shattered, and sex raises its (delicious) head at almost every throw as, in bed and boardroom,...
Lysander Hawkley combined breathtaking good looks with the kindest of hearts. He couldn't pass a stray dog, an ill-treated horse or a neglected wife without rushing to the rescue. And with neglected wives the rescue invariably led to ecstatic bonking, which didn't please their erring husbands one bit. Lysander's mid-life crisis had begun at twenty-two. Reeling from the death of his beautiful mother, he was out of work, drinking too much and desperately in debt. The solution came from Ferdie, his fat, fast-operating friend: if Lysander was so good at making husbands jealous, why shouldn't he get paid for it? Let loose among the neglected wives of the ritzy county of Rutshire, Lysander causes absolute havoc. But it is only when he meets Rannaldini, Rutshire's King Rat of Rutshire and a temperamental, fiendishly promiscuous international conductor, that the trouble really starts. The only unglamorous woman around Rannaldini was Kitty, his plump young wife who ran his life like clockwork. Soon Lysander was convinced that Kitty must be rescued from Rannaldini at all costs, even if it means enlisting the help of the old blue-eyed havoc maker: Rupert Campbell-Black.
At Bagley Hall, a notoriously wild, but increasingly academic, independent, crammed with the children of the famous, trouble is afoot. The ambitious and fatally attractive headmaster, Hengist Brett-Taylor, hatches a plan to share the facilities of his school with Larkminster Comprehensive - known locally, as 'Larks'. His reasons for doing so are purely financial, but he is encouraged by the opportunities the scheme gives him for frequent meetings with Janna Curtis, the dynamic new head of Larks, who has been drafted in to save what is a fast-sinking school from closure. Janna is young, pretty, enthusiastic and vastly brave - and she will do anything to rescue her demoralised, run-down and cash-strapped school. Neither parents nor staff of either school are too keen on this radical move, although some can see the possible financial advantages. For the students, however, it offers great opportunities to get up to even more mayhem than usual.
After going to live in the country Jilly Cooper wrote regularly for the Mail on Sunday for several years and this is a selection of her best pieces written at that time. The topics she covers in her inimitable style range from the hunt balls and Henley to love and sex in the ages of AIDS.She interviews Margaret Thatcher, Neil Kinnock, Lord Hailsham, the cast of Eastenders and the proprietress of a famous brothel in the Nevada desert and writes about her fellow human beings and their foibles provocatively, affectionately and sometimes outrageously. Her portraits of family life in the Cooper household remain the most ruthless and hilarious of all.